MINSK (Sputnik) — Nearly 270 foreign journalists are planning to cover the Russia-Belarus joint military drills Zapad-2017, Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dmitry Mironchik said Thursday.
"At the moment we are processing an unprecedented number of accreditation applications of foreign media, around 270," Mironchik told reporters.
He added that the applications had been received from news agencies, media outlets and broadcasters of all neighboring countries, as well as from the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, the United States, Turkey, France, Sweden and Finland. The drills will be also covered by journalists from such relatively remote countries as Qatar, South Korea and Japan.
"The Belarusian side is interested like nobody else in strengthening security, military and political stability in the region. Belarus strictly complies with its international commitments and acts in line with the Vienna Document, even when we have no formal obligations to our neighbors and partners," Mironchik said, stressing that Belarus continued to take steps in order to ensure transparency of the drills.
The joint drills will be held on September 14-20 and stretch from Russia’s far northwest to Belarus. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, 7,200 Belarusian and 5,500 Russian troops will take part in the drills, as well as 70 aircraft, 250 tanks and ten ships.